Cargill’s GMO hypocrisy

Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?


I don’t think so, but Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to get away with its version of the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow. Cargill, the $2.3 billion-a-year food conglomerate, is a huge producer and user of food ingredients that contain genetically manipulated organisms. But it has a marketing problem — by huge margins, consumers here and around the world do not want to put those GMO Frankenfoods on their families’ tables.

Thus, Cargill has been a ferocious, deep-pocket opponent of every state law and ballot initiative that would mandate the labeling of any product containing GMOs. Better that families be kept in the dark about what they’re buying and eating, says Cargill — better for its profits, that is. Indeed, the chairman of the conglomerate’s board is also on the executive committee of the industry lobbying front that goes all out to kill every right-to-know provision for consumers. Any such label, he scolds, would be “misleading.”

But — whoa, what’s this? It’s a press release from Fortress Cargill, proclaiming that the diehard giant is now marketing a non-GMO soybean oil that — voila! — announces on its label that the product is GMO-free. Has the diehard had a change of heart?

Excuse me, but corporations don’t have hearts. They have bottom lines, period. And the bottom line is that Cargill’s terminally-hypocritical honchos see dollars laying on the ground that they’re not getting. So, weasels a company man with the cumbersome title of Food Ingredients Commercial Manager, “Despite the many merits of biotechnology, consumer interest in non-GMO ingredients is growing, creating opportunities… for food manufacturers.”

That is the clearest expression you’ll ever get of corporate integrity.


This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.